A federal judge in Montana decided grizzly bears roaming around the Yellowstone National Park area are to remain a protected species, and on Monday reversed the United States Fish and Wildlife service decision to lift those protections to allow hunting.
According to NPR, District Judge Dana Christensen, effectively cancelled what was to be the first bear hunt in the Lower 48 States since 1991. The 48-page ruling stated:
“In this Order, the Court vacates the June 30, 2017 Final Rule of the United
States Fish and Wildlife Service delisting the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
population of grizzly bears, and restores Endangered Species Act status to the
Greater Yellowstone grizzly.”
The judge had temporarily blocked the planned hunt in Wyoming and Idaho just days before the states were to open the grizzly bear hunting seasons.
Christiansen wrote the wildlife service “failed to make a reasoned decision” when it de-listed the 700 Yellowstone grizzly bears from the Endangered Species Act, adding the analysis of threats to the species had been “arbitrary and capricious.” When the wildlife service rendered their decision last year that the grizzly bears were no longer a threatened species in need of federal protection, six lawsuits were filed ranging from Native American tribes to wildlife advocates.
Hunters have expressed their disappointment stating grizzly bear attacks on livestock, deer and elk impacts nor the threat the animals present to humans have not been considered. Proponents contend there are just too many bears at this time.
Grizzly bears were first listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1975 when there were between 136 and 312 bears left in the Yellowstone area.
There had been 22 hunting permits issued, however the hunt remained on hold until Christensen’s decision.
It would seem the bears finally have won a battle of survival from trophy hunters- at least for now.
Yesterday in the news: Family’s lost dog wound up at veterinary school to be used in experimental surgery!
Adorable – Golden retriever is a guide dog for a blind spaniel – more here.
Beaten and abused – dog gets second chance
From horrific cruelty to the beach – inspiring!